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U.S. prosecutors demand CZ’s passport before verdict

U.S. and CZ

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TL;DR

  • U.S. prosecutors demand former Binance CEO CZ to surrender his Canadian and all other passports before his sentencing.
  • CZ faces travel restrictions within the continental U.S. and must notify the government three days in advance of any travel.
  • He pleaded guilty to failing to maintain an effective Anti-Money Laundering program at Binance and remains free on a $175 million bond.

The US Attorney’s Office has thrown down the gauntlet to Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, who used to be the CEO of Binance. The law enforcement is tightening its grip on CZ and demands that he give up his Canadian passport and any other travel papers he has. This is part of a larger effort to make it harder for CZ to move while he waits for his sentence hearing on April 30.

A written request was sent to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington on February 23. Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida has been asked by U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorman to approve a move that would basically keep CZ in the mainland United States. The suggested conditions would not only limit his freedom of movement, but they would also require him to give the government three days’ notice of any plans to travel within the country. This would give them plenty of time to complain.

This development follows CZ’s plea of guilty to a felony charge related to his failure in maintaining an effective Anti-Money Laundering (AML) program at Binance. Since the indictment, CZ has been out on bail, the bond set at a staggering $175 million. Despite his legal predicament, CZ had expressed a desire to travel to the United Arab Emirates to visit family—an appeal that was promptly denied by the court.

The filing further reveals that CZ holds citizenship in the United Arab Emirates. It seems clear that the authorities are leaving no stone unturned to ensure CZ’s presence in the United States until his day of reckoning in court. CZ’s legal problem are part of a larger one involving Binance’s chaotic dealings with U.S. regulators. In November 2023, he stepped down from his role as CEO in a dramatic turn of events that saw Binance striking a $4.3 billion agreement with U.S. authorities. This arrangement included a $1.8 billion fine and the forfeiture of $2.5 billion, a testament to the gravity of the charges levied against the cryptocurrency exchange.

It does not end here. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched a civil case against Binance and Binance.US in June 2023. The two exchanges are still involved in the litigation. Now that CZ has left, Richard Teng, who used to be Binance’s head of regional markets, is chief executive officer. Teng talked about a changed Binance in an interview with Cointelegraph in December 2023. He emphasized how much the exchange has changed in the last six years. The company’s efforts to rebrand show that it wants to start over and move on from the problems that have damaged its public image.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Jai Hamid

Jai Hamid is a passionate writer with a keen interest in blockchain technology, the global economy, and literature. She dedicates most of her time to exploring the transformative potential of crypto and the dynamics of worldwide economic trends.

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